Scott Wheeler writes about NHL prospects for The Athletic and he is very good at his job. His latest project is ranking all 32 NHL teams by their farm system and how good it is. Chicago Blackhawks fans might be impressed with where he has them.
Wheeler ranked Chicago at number five which is a very solid ranking for them less than a year removed from being in a really tough spot in terms of prospect talent in the system.
The only teams ranked ahead of them are the Detroit Red Wings, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, and Minnesota Wild. That is really good for Kyle Davidson as it speaks volumes about how well he has done in the early stages of the rebuild.
Sometimes it takes multiple years of tearing it down and being bad to get it into the top five. Davidson did it coming into a situation where he had no first-round selections. The one that originally belonged to Chicago was a very high pick that was traded away for Seth Jones.
The Chicago Blackhawks have quickly added a lot to their farm system.
Despite entering the draft week with no picks, he found a way to make three first-round selections in 2022 and they were Kevin Korchinski, Frank Nazar, and Sam Rinzel. In addition, they have studs like Ethan Del Mastro, Colton Dach, and Lukas Reichel to be excited about. This is a very solid group.
Korchinski has a chance to become a star defenseman with his talents and we are seeing this year that Lukas Reichel might be a legit piece moving forward. However, the Hawks could be drafting someone this year that bumps them up even more.
If Chicago drafts one of Adam Fantilli, Leo Carlsson, or Matvei Michkov with pick two, three, or four, they will climb up this list even more. If they win the lottery and select Connor Bedard, it will be hard to deny them the very top spot.
The 2023 draft won’t be their only way of improving their farm either this year. They have a lot of players to trade away before the trade deadline that can land them more picks and prospects. If this prospect pool sees a lot of its players reach their potential, the Hawks will be good again soon.